Well, boys and girls... we're at the second-to-last chapter of Charlie's story! He is definitely one of my favorite characters of all time. The world needs more Charlie Danners, don't you think? We still haven't met all the characters, and I hope you'll love them, too! Enjoy! -Geoff
CHARLIE DANNER FINDS HIS WAY
By Geoff Chassen
CHAPTER 11 – A VERY SPECIAL BOY (Part One)
Timothy Evans. I can’t get him out of my mind. Jacob says I have this gift where I touch everyone’s heart. That may be true. But Timmy touched mine.
The day after we met, I got a call from Timmy’s mother, Jeannie.
“Franklin’s Tailor Shop. This is Charlie. How can I help you?”
“Hi Charlie, this is Jeannie Evans. I’m so sorry to bother you at work.”
“Oh! It’s no bother at all. It’s the perfect time for a short break. How’s my new friend?”
“Well, that’s why I’m calling. Timmy can’t stop talking about you. It’s almost a miracle, really.”
“I really didn’t do anything… really. But I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about your boy. He touched my heart in a way that very few people ever have.”
“Well, I was wondering… and you can say no, I would totally understand… do you think there might be a way for us to get together sometime?”
“Funny you mention that. I was just wondering if Timmy would enjoy hearing a story at the library on Saturday morning? My boyfriend Jacob reads to the kids every week.”
“Oh, I think he would enjoy that a lot. He loves to be read to. How many children would be there?”
“It’s usually fifteen to twenty kids. But I’ll be there and Timmy can sit with me if he would like.”
“I think he would be fine if you were there with him. He can be touch and go in a group, but if you’re there…”
“Wild horses couldn’t keep me away!”
“Do you know what the story is for Saturday?”
“Yes. Jacob’s going to read Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.”
“I love that book! I’ll read it to Timmy tonight and tell him about Saturday. When he likes a story, he wants it read to him several times. If he likes it, I’ll be sure to bring him.”
“Oh, I hope he does! I would love to see him again. He’s a special boy. A truly special boy.”
“Charlie, you’re pretty special, too. In just one short visit with you, Timmy has let down some of his walls. It’s really a miracle.”
“Well, I have no explanation for what happened, but I’m glad it was a positive experience for Timmy. Oh… And Jeannie, can I have your cell number? That way we can text and you can reach me when I’m not here at work.”
We exchanged numbers and I went back to work.
After his morning visit with Ian, Cam came into work and the first thing out of his mouth was about Timmy.
“Wow, Charlie! You sure made an impression on Walter’s grandson. All he could talk about was how you were able to connect with the boy.”
“Yeah, I just had a nice talk with his mom. She might be bringing Timmy to the library story time Saturday morning.”
“That’s awesome. I can’t wait for Eli to be old enough to go hear Jacob read.”
“You know, I think it’s a beautiful thing that Jacob volunteers for the library like that. I need to find something to volunteer for.”
“Maybe you could look into something for special kids like Timmy. Who knows how many kids you can help?”
I went back to my stitching and my mind was swirling with thoughts of Timmy and Cam’s suggestion.
That night, Jacob and I were enjoying dinner. Ms. Henderson made some delicious stuffed pork chops with fried apples and green beans. While we were eating, Jacob looked across the table and smiled.
“Charlie, you have no idea how much I love you…”
I started to panic. I guess it comes from my relationship history. “Is there a ‘but’ here?”
“Oh! God no, baby! I was going to say that just when I think I so full of love that I might burst, I see something new about you that fills me with even more love than before.”
“You’re not going to get down on your knee here, are you?”
“Stop kidding around! I’m being serious. After Cam talked to me about relationships and kids back at the hospital… and after seeing how amazing you were with Timmy yesterday. I just… I don’t know how to explain it.”
I could see Jacob’s eyes begin to glisten with tears. Something was different, I just couldn’t put a finger on it.
“Baby, I don’t know what happened, or how to explain it. So I’m just going to say it. All day at work Dad was getting pissed at me because my mind wasn’t where it needed to be.”
“Everything is absolutely perfect. My mind was with you, baby. Baby, all I could think about was you… and me… together. With a family. In our own home. And it was perfect. I knew that is exactly how my life… OUR life… is supposed to be.”
Well fuck me, I couldn’t see the tears in Jacob’s eyes for all the tears in mine. I stood up from the table and walked over to my boy, sat on his lap, and kissed him. It was a tender kiss. But it was a different kind of kiss from any we’ve ever shared. It was a kiss that seemed to complete our connection… a kiss to seal our bond.
“Jay, I love you so, so much.” I held his face in my hands and looked at him. “You know, it’s the same with me. I wake up every morning and feel in the bottom of my soul that I’m completely in love. And then… you surprise me again and my love for you gets fuller and deeper and totally redefines what being in love is.”
“Charlie. Oh, my dear, sweet Charlie. There’s something different today about our love. It happened today. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved you almost from the day we met. But today… Oh, Charlie… today I realized that I love not only you, but I also love us. I love us… together.”
“Jacob Anderson, if you don’t make love to me right now, I’ll have to do something rash... and you may not love me anymore!”
Well, what I expected was for Jacob to take me upstairs. What I didn’t expect was Jacob to set me off his lap and for him to move the dishes from the table to the floor. He began to strip me down right there in the kitchen! Once I was completely naked, he picked me up in his arms and gently lay me down on the table with my legs hanging over the edge.
I looked up and saw my beautiful boy peel off his tee-shirt, exposing his tan and toned upper body. He pulled his pants and boxer briefs down in one motion as he gave me that heart-melting smile. God, I love my boy!
Jacob leaned down, taking my face into his hands and picked up the magnificent kiss where we left off. The connection was mind-shattering. I don’t know how to explain it. He wasn’t kissing me, I wasn’t kissing him… we were completely connecting on a level I’ve never experienced before. God, I love my boy!
After what felt like an eternity, Jacob broke the kiss and began kissing his way to all the spots that drive me insane! My neck, my shoulder, each nipple, my sides, my hips, I was writhing and moaning on the table as my boy gently lifted my legs up. He sat on the chair and leaned into my already quivering ass.
He teased me with just the very tip of his tongue. causing me to moan and beg for more. When he unexpectedly dove in and pushed his tongue inside me, I yelled out his name and grabbed on to the edges of the table.
Holy fuck! Jacob was working my ass like a boy possessed! He had my cock bouncing and flowing, leaving a huge puddle of precum on my smooth abs. I really wanted to reach up and start stroking, but I knew better. Jacob would only smack my hand away… and there was no way I was going to distract him from the task at hand! God, I love my boy!
Jacob then began spitting into my ass and working a finger in and out, then two. Damn! It felt so good! He then stood and scooped up the pre from my abs and slathered it onto his beautiful cock while he dropped spit on it.
“Make love to me, baby! I need you so bad!” God, I love my boy!
“I love you, Charlie… more than life!”
And with that, he eased himself into me. Still standing on the floor, Jacob had pulled my legs up and rested them on his shoulders with my feet on either side of his head. I was thrilled at the tender and gentle way my boy entered me. It was like I could feel the love with each careful push.
I propped myself up on my elbows so I could watch Jacob’s every move. When he was in all the way, he stopped and made gentle circular motions with his hips, know how that drives me crazy!
“Oh God, baby! You feel so perfect inside me! You’re amazing!”
Just then he moved my right foot forward and took my toe into his mouth. The sensation caused my entire body to tighten, including the muscles surround the cock inside me.
“Oh! Oh! Charlie! That feels so… Oh my God!”
Yes! I was finally able to give my boy a taste of his own medicine, and from the reaction he was giving, I was doing it quite well! God, I love my boy!
Jacob started moving in and out and I clenched my muscles around that awesome cock each time he would pull back. That increased the pressure on both his cock AND my prostate. Soon we were both moaning and professing our undying love for each other.
Jacob then surprised the fuck (or I should say cum) out of me as he reached down and grabbed my nine inches of steel-hard, throbbing cock. He bent down and was able to get the head into his mouth. Every time he would push into my ass, his head would go down a bit lower. Every time he would pull out, his head would go up. GOD, I LOVE MY BOY!
I shot my load into Jacob’s mouth as my ass clenched like never before with each shot. That forced Jacob over the edge as he started filling me with his love before I began to slow down my shots.
It was perfect, as we came together with more intensity and love than I have ever felt. When it was over I was collapsed on the table and Jacob just stood there, holding on to my legs for support.
I looked up and saw my beautiful boy looking down at me. He had a slight, but beautiful smile on his lips. But his eyes… oh, his eyes! There was a look like I have never seen from him. It was pure love and happiness. I returned the same look to him and the connection between us was one of the most beautiful things you could imagine. No words. There just aren’t words to describe what our eyes were saying to each other. God, I love my boy. God! I LOVE US!
We eventually built up enough strength to get up, pull on our boxer briefs, and clean up the kitchen. I went into the half-bath off the kitchen and grabbed the Febreeze and sprayed the kitchen. The last thing I wanted was for Ms. Henderson to smell sex when she came into work tomorrow morning!
We decided to pull on the rest of our clothes since they were right there on the floor, pop some popcorn, and watch a movie. We settled onto the sofa and Jacob chose one of his old favorites, Latter Days.
About halfway through the film, we got quite a surprise. Mom walked into the house. She’s never home during the week!
“Mom! What are you doing here on a Thursday? Is everything alright?”
“Hi boys. Sorry to interrupt your movie. But no. Everything’s not alright.”
“Hey, I can leave so you and your mom can talk.”
“No, Jacob. I would like you to hear this, too.”
“What’s going on, Mom? You’re scaring me.”
“No, no, no, my darling boy. Everything’s going to be just fine.”
Mom sat down between Jacob and me, grabbed the popcorn, and asked if there was more iced tea. Jacob got her a glass and rejoined us.
“Okay, While I was in North Carolina, I got a call from Sarasota. Charlie, your grandmother had a stroke this afternoon.”
“What? Oh my God! Is she okay?”
“She’s fine. She was with friends and they got the EMS there very quickly. They got her to the hospital before things could have gotten much, much worse. Mother is going to be fine, but she has a long recovery ahead of her.
“Since she wasn’t in any immediate danger, I decided to come home so I could pack. I’ve spoken with your father and he knows everything that’s going on. I’m going to be moving to Sarasota for several months to help Mother with her recovery and rehab.
“Of course, with your father gone much more than I am, that means you will be here pretty much on your own, with Ms. Henderson, of course.”
Tears started forming in my eyes. I was so shocked and worried about Gramma and the thought of Mom moving to Florida was breaking my heart.
“Now. The reason I wanted you to stay with us, Jacob… and please know that I’m not trying to meddle or force anything on you boys… but I was wondering if you would consider moving into the house with my son. I know you boys love each other and I also know that you spend most nights here anyway…”
“Mom? Are you sure about this? And this is sooooo weird! I always felt I would be the one to ask Jacob to move in with me. But this is your house and I wouldn’t ever do that without talking to you about it first.”
“So… if it takes some of the weirdness away, ask him! You know I completely approve.”
“Jacob, would you consider moving in with me?”
“I would love to, Charlie. The thought of you completely alone here is something I don’t want to think about. And besides, it only makes sense and it would sure make life easier since I wouldn’t have to pack a bag several times a week.”
“Good. Now that we have settled that, I have a few suggestions for you. Again, I’m not trying to meddle, but I have had a lot of time to think while flying home tonight.
“Charlie, I know you love your room at the top of the house, but if Jacob is moving in, there is no room for his things AND yours up there. So… I thought of a solution.
“I think you boys should think about moving into the guest room on the second floor. It’s much larger, the bath is much larger, the bed is much larger… well, you know what I’m saying.
“Now I know you hate the idea of giving up your room, I mean it IS the coolest room in the house! So I was thinking that it might make a great office and studio for both of you. Charlie, you can set up your sewing equipment up there and Jacob… you can put a desk and drawing table up there and work on your designs as well.”
“Mom, it sounds like you’re making plans to not come back. Is everything okay with you and Dad?”
“Yes dear, nothing has changed with your father and I. We love each other like we always have. But we have settled into a routine that works for us. It would probably never work for any other couple. But for us, it works. We enjoy the quality of our time together much more than the quantity of time we get to spend together.”
“Is there more, Mom?”
“Well, yes there is, son. You father I have talked about this for quite some time and while we were going to wait a few years, circumstances have made this something we’ve decided to do now.”
“Mom, you’re scaring me again.”
“Nothing to worry about. Your father and I have decided to legally turn the house over to you. We’re having the paperwork drawn up and it should be ready to go next week.”
“But Mom, I can’t afford the upkeep on a house like this!”
“We’ve taken care of that as well, Charlie. We are setting up a fund that will cover Ms. Henderson’s wages, the property taxes, utilities, and any emergency expenses that might come up. The interest from the fund will more than cover all expenses. After ten years, you can choose to keep the trust as it is, or you can take possession of it and do with it what you like.”
I was stunned. I mean, I love this house and am thrilled that everything is being taken care of, but damn! This is more than I ever dreamed possible! I looked over at Jacob.
“Babe, you’ve been awfully quiet through all this, what do you think?”
“Hmmm. I’m going to be moving into this amazing house with the one person on Earth I love more than life itself. I’m stunned, but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier!”
And just like that, his expression changed. He suddenly looked unsure… nervous, even. He leaned into Mom and whispered something in her ear. I have no idea what he said, but her smile just kept getting bigger and bigger and tears were starting to form.
When he finished telling secrets to my mother, Jacob stood up and moved over in front of me. He knelt on the floor and took both of my hands.
“Charlie, you already know that I love you more than anything in the world, and that love keeps growing every day I have you in my life. I was going to do this after the movie, but with your Mom here, it’s even more perfect that I do this now.”
Oh. My. God.
“Charlie Danner, I want nothing more than to be with you every single day for the rest of my life. I want nothing more than having you keep throwing surprises my way that make me fall in love with you more than should even be legal. I want nothing more than…”
Jacob reached into his pocket… and me being the biggest baby on the Cape, started sobbing.
“Charlie, you are the love of my life. Will you marry me?”
I just wailed and sobbed like an idiot. Jacob started to look worried.
“Charlie? Is that a yes or a no?”
“Yes! Yes, baby! Yes, I will marry you, Jacob Anderson!”
Jacob opened the box he had pulled out of his pocket and inside were two stunning two-toned rings. He placed the smaller one on my left hand and handed the other to me. My hands were shaking so much, I don’t know how in Hell I got the ring on his finger!
Mom stood up and held out her arms and pulled the two of us into a hug.
“That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Jacob, you have turned what could be a difficult time into one of the happiest days of my life. I’ll be right back!”
Mom went into the kitchen while Jacob and I just stood there facing each other, holding hands with our foreheads together. We both had tears in our eyes and goofy smiles on our faces. We just kept whispering “I love you” to each other.
Mom returned with a bottle of Moet and Chandon and three flutes. She handed the bottle to Jacob and he opened it with a loud pop. Jacob handed the bottle back to Mom and she filled the three glasses.
“Jacob. A mother wants nothing more than to see her child find true happiness in his life. Thank you for bringing that to my son. Charlie. You have grown into an exceptional man. You bring joy and happiness to so many people. I want to make a toast to your future. I love you boys!”
We each drank our champagne. Jacob and I kissed and Mom kissed each of us on the cheek.
“Now, I need to pack and you boys can finish your movie. I have a flight at 11 in the morning.”
“I think we’ll just close up down here and head on upstairs. Thank you, Mom. You are amazing.”
We cleaned up the family room and turned out the lights. Once we were in my room, Jacob pulled me into his arms and we shared a tender kiss that was so full of love, it was crazy!
We went into the bathroom and brushed our teeth and went back out to the bedroom. We removed our clothes and crawled into the bed. We both lay on our sides, facing each other. We were both hard but weren’t interested in sex. Weird, huh?
“Your mom is amazing, Charlie. And her idea of moving into the second floor is perfect. Of course, there are those two other bedrooms across the will be perfect for children, you know.”
“So you DO want kids?”
“Of course I do, baby. I can’t wait!”
“When do you want to get married?”
“Would you mind if we planned for after Christmas? I graduate at the end of the Fall semester.”
“Sounds perfect. I love us, Jacob Anderson.”
“And I love us, Charlie Danner.”
That was the last thing I remember as I dozed off with my fiance’s arms wrapped around me.
The next morning, we were up at 6:30 and running on the beach. God, it was amazing. The day felt different. The beach felt different. The sky looked different. Hell, I felt different! I was engaged to an amazing boy!
We both looked stupid silly running down the beach with shit-eating grins on our faces! Hell, even the run felt different. We were both running with more speed and for me, it felt like my feet were barely touching the ground.
When we got back to the house, Mom was already up and fixing breakfast. She told us to shower quickly, that breakfast would be ready in fifteen minutes. Well, shit! No shower sex this morning!
We got downstairs and headed downstairs for breakfast. Damn! Mom outdid herself!
“Let’s see those rings, my darling boys!”
We both held out our hands and I have to admit, it sure was a pretty picture. So pretty, in fact, I gave my phone to Mom and asked her to take a picture. While she was plating up our Belgian waffles, sausage links, AND bacon, I posted the picture on my Instagram with a one-word comment, ‘ENGAGED!!’
After Mom set our plates down, she reached into the fridge and pulled out the leftover champagne and some orange juice and made mimosas for us. Yay! More celebrating!
During breakfast, we discussed Jacob moving into the house. He decided that he would pack his things and move into the house Saturday afternoon. We would move my things into our new bedroom that evening after work. We also decided that we would set up our new office/studio on Sunday.
Jacob left for work, leaving Mom and me alone. As happy and excited as I was, it was still kind of sad to say goodbye to her this time. She promised that once she was comfortable having a home-care nurse watch Gramma, she would be making weekend trips home. That definitely helped, but there were still tears and hugs.
Mom finally made me go to work so she could finish packing and get on her way. We promised to call often, including as soon as she got there. She would call me and let me know how Gramma was doing.
When I got to work, I went to the back and immediately made some coffee. I opened my phone and it was insane! In just an hour I had over 100 comments and likes on the engagement pic. It’s so cool to feel the love from your friends.
About halfway through my first cup of coffee, I got a text from Liz.
BUSYLIZZY: OMG! i’m so happy for you and jacob!
CHARLIESTCHR: i know! can you believe it?
BUSYLIZZY: do u know when yet?
CHARLIESTCHR: prolly after xmas
BUSYLIZZY: awesome! hey, can u do lunch with me today?
CHARLIESTCHR: yeah. let’s do the cafe down the street?
BUSYLIZZY: sounds good. see you a noon? have a surprise for u 2
CHARLIESTCHR: what is it???
BUSYLIZZY: have to wait. wouldn’t be a surprise if i told u hehe
CHARLIESTCHR: not true. imma fiance now :-D
BUSYLIZZY: sqee!! cya at noon sweetie
CHARLIESTCHR: love u ciao
Just as I was finishing up my coffee, Cam walked into the shop with a huge smile on his face.
“What’s got you grinnin’ like a fool?”
“You’re the one who should be grinnin’! We saw your post. Let’s see the ring!”
I held out my hand and Cam ooh’d and ahh’d. I don’t get it. Girls do this all the time, except they usually have a diamond on the ring to be ooh’d and ahh’d over. Maybe it’s just that a dude getting engaged and a ring is still a bit of a novelty… even in good old Massachusetts.
Cam then told me the reason he was so happy. Ian was coming home on Monday. Ian’s parents were having a big family dinner and wanted Jacob and me there. Walter, Jeannie, and Timmy would also be there. I love how Cam and Ian’s extended family just keeps extending!
Later that morning I got a text from Jeannie telling me that Timmy loved The Giving Tree and was excited to go hear the story at the library the next morning. She also told him that there would be other kids there and he told her it would be okay as long as he could sit in Charlie’s lap. Damn! Could this day get any better?
I headed to the café for lunch and yes, the day actually did get better! Liz had someone with her. She introduced Sarah, the owner of the event planning company she had started working for several weeks earlier.
While we were enjoying our soup and sandwich combos, Liz dropped the bombshell. She and Sarah were now dating and they couldn’t be happier or more in love. Yay! Love is definitely in the air.
Sarah and Liz told me that they wanted to plan our wedding and that it would be their gift to us. I was stunned. I don’t know what the fuck I’ve done to deserve all this good shit coming my way!
Friday night was the calm before the storm. It was going to be a crazy weekend with the library in the morning, Jacob moving into the house, moving my things into our new room, and cooking a dish for the big dinner at the Greenely’s on Monday.
Saturday morning came and we got to the library about fifteen minutes before it was time to start. The kids were starting to arrive and I was talking to one of the parents when I heard, “Charlie! Charlie! You’re back!”
I immediately had a twin hugging each of my legs and they almost knocked me down to the floor. I picked them up, one in each arm and moved over to our spot. I sat down with one on each side of me.
“Boys, I have another friend coming today and he’s going to be sitting in my lap. He’s very shy and may not want to talk to you and I need you to be extra-special nice to him. Can you do that?”
“Yes, we’ll be good,” Jonathan told me.
Joshua continued with, “It’s easy to be good with you, Charlie!”
Just then I heard a soft “Hi, Charlie” from the side of the room. “Boys, that Timmy. I’m going to go get him and bring him over. You stay right here and save my place, okay?”
I got up from the floor and walked over to Jeannie and her special boy. Jeannie gave me a hug and I knelt down to Timmy.
“Hi Timmy! I’m so glad you came to the library today!”
Timmy wrapped his arms around my neck and asked me to pick him up. I did and he laid his head on my shoulder as I carried him over to sit with the twins.
“Timmy, we’re going to sit with the other kids while Jacob reads the story to us. Is that okay?”
“It’s okay if I can sit on your lap.”
“That’s perfect, little man!”
I sat back down between the twins and just hoped for the best. I knew it could be touch and go with Timmy.
“Timmy, this is Jonathan and Joshua. They’re friends of mine, too. Is it okay if they sit with us?”
“If they’re your friends, it’s okay.”
In unison, both boys chimed in. “Hi, Timmy!”
Right on cue, Jacob moved to the front of the group and welcomed them. He talked a bit about the story and soon began. He was great, interacting with the kids and getting them to all say the word “happy” whenever it popped up in the story. About halfway through, even Timmy would join in, albeit quietly so only I could hear.
When Jacob finished reading, the children all applauded and Timmy asked if we were done. When I told him yes, he just got up and walked over to his mom at the side of the room. He was done with me and the twins, I guess.
I gave the twins a hug and told them how good they behaved. I was really proud of them. I then got up and went to Jeannie. She again told me how thrilled she was with how Timmy interacted with me. Hey, he’s a special boy. I didn’t do anything remarkable.
Jeannie asked me if I might be interested in visiting the Autism Support Group next week. She would like to introduce me and share the story of Timmy’s breakthrough. I had mixed feelings about that, but it seemed to mean a lot to her so hey… I figured they might be able to help me find a way that I might volunteer to work with some of these great kids. She said she would send me details.
I headed back to work and we were rather busy during the afternoon. At five, I helped Cam close up shop and headed home to find the most beautiful boy in the world sitting on the front steps.
“Hi, beautiful boy, I’ve moved in and thought it would be nice to welcome my fiance home from work.”
“Oh! Think maybe we can sneak in a quickie before he gets here?”
We hugged, kissed, and giggled and made our way into the house. Oh, my! Something smelled wonderful! Jacob had made salmon steaks with a lemon sauce, whole-grain rice, and a fresh spinach salad for dinner.
“Mmmm Baby! I could sure get used to this. It’s wonderful!”
After dinner, Jacob and I moved my things from the third-floor room into our new spacious room. After hanging my pictures and posters, the room began to look like ours. Of course, we had a new bed to break in, and we did… twice. We both agreed that sleeping in a king-sized bed was going to be really nice. Not that we needed the extra space for actual sleeping… but it sure did make playtime more adventurous!
We got up early on Sunday morning and had our morning run on the beach, followed by our shower and more playtime in our new, much larger shower. Why hadn’t we made this move before? We both loved the new space!
Jacob made pancakes and bacon for breakfast and then we headed back upstairs to make room for a drawing table and desk. The nice thing about my old bedroom being up with the attic is that at the far end of the room was a door that led to the attic space. It didn’t take long to move the bed and furniture pieces into the attic.
We covered everything with sheets and Jacob called his dad to bring over the stuff. Mr. Anderson arrived about an hour later with everything loaded in the back of his Suburban. He had a real kick seeing the house again. I think Jacob felt bad about leaving his dad alone, but he was assured that everything was good. Jacob then told me he thought his Dad was glad to be alone so he could have the woman he had been seeing over for some of his own playtime. Ewwwww. I really didn’t want to have that picture in my head!
After everything was set up, we ordered a pizza and chilled out with the film we didn’t finish Friday night. I really do love that movie. Makes me cry every time. Hell, what doesn’t make me cry these days?
Monday night, Cam and I closed up the shop and headed over to the Greenely’s for the big family dinner. I had to stop by my place on the way and grab the dish I had made… Brussel sprouts au gratin. It’s an amazing dish with sliced, roasted sprouts, pancetta, onion, cream, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Every time I made the dish, even the most ardent Brussel sprouts haters end up wanting seconds AND the recipe!
Dinner was wonderful. The conversation was awesome and Ian was so happy to finally be home. I thought he was going to explode! Of course, everyone was thrilled to see our rings and congratulated us on our engagement!
On Tuesday I went and met Jeannie at the Autism support group. I thought Timmy would be with us, but she had a sitter as this was a “parents-only” affair. When I got there, I was surprised to find Ms. Myerson, my high school theatre teacher. It turns out she has a daughter on the Autism spectrum.
When it was Jeannie’s turn to speak, she introduced me and talked about how easily I had connected to Timmy. She mentioned that her boy was a completely different person since I had come into their lives. Personally, I think she exaggerated things a bit, but I have to admit, the praise and attention felt pretty nice!
Afterwards, Ms. Myerson… who I’m now supposed to call Betty (that will be hard)… asked me what my Sunday afternoons looked like. It turns out she has a group of 10-12 kids who are on the spectrum that get together and they play theatre games They are also learning an abridged version of Annie. The more she told me about it, the more I knew I had found my volunteer work!
Ms. Myer… erm, Betty… called Jeannie over and asked if she though Timmy would enjoy the group now that I would be there every week. Looks like she was going to have another kid (and Timmy, hehe) join her on Sundays!
On Tuesday, Cam came in smiling his ass off. Without saying a word he wrapped me in his arms and laid a big old kiss on my cheek.
“Thank you, Charlie! Thank you! Thank you!”
“Umm, you’re welcome?”
Turns out that after the close call with the incident at the pool and hearing about our engagement, Ian “officially” accepted Cam’s proposal that was given while Ian was in a coma. This time, Ian had rings. Ian also planned to legally adopt Eli. The plan was to get married in October. I guess we are all growing up and turning into those things called adults. Who would have ever thought?
The next Sunday I drove over to the high school theatre to join up with Ms. Myerson’s… dammit!... Betty’s theatre group. Timmy showed up and ran up to me with a hug around my neck.
The group was amazing! With Barnstable being such a small town, most of the kids already knew each other… either from school or their own playgroups. Timmy had a friend there who seemed to be a year or two older. His name was Noah. He sang the song “Maybe” probably as well as I’ve ever heard it.Wow! That kid had a singing voice like I've never heard from a kid... any kid!
Timmy had a pretty decent singing voice as well. But whenever he would hear Noah sing, he would look up at me, smile, and say, “pretty.”
Yes, it was. It was stunning, actually. Noah came over to Timmy and asked him who I was.
“Charlie is my friend. He’s really nice.”
“Hi, Noah. You have a beautiful singing voice. It made me so happy to hear you sing.”
“Thank you, Charlie. You are nice. Can I sit with you, too?”
Timmy looked across my lap to Noah and asked him, “Does the noise stop when you are with Charlie?”
“Yeah, it’s quiet like it is with Mama. I like that.” Noah looked up and asked, “Can I be your friend, too?”
“Noah, it would make me so happy to have you AND Timmy as my friends. Would you like that?”
“Yeah.” Noah was done with the conversation and joined Timmy, leaning into my other shoulder.
So there I was, sitting in the front row of the auditorium with two very special boys. Timmy Evans. Noah Haynes. Noah has touched my heart in the same way Timmy has. What I had no idea about was that one of these boys was going to change my life forever.
So, there you go! Just one chapter to go and we are finished with Charlie's story. Wow! Your reviews and reactions have meant so much to me! I promise, the more I hear from you, the more inspired my writing becomes. It's faster, too!
There's a lot happening in the next (final) chapter! And there's one new character I'm pretty sure you're going to love!
After the final chapter, I'm going to take a bit of a break to watch the Winter Olympics. I might be able to multi-task and at least get the outline for Vic's story done. Of course, that depends so much on you!